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14th, That the managers shall be to be productive of such valuable befreed from responsibility when the nefits to the industrious classes of the money of depositors is lodged in the community. bank prescribed by the rules of the The other provisions contemplated society.
by the bill are of too obvious utility to On perusing this abstract, the reader require any comment; but particular will observe, that there is nothing importance we think should be attache compulsory in any of the clauses; it ed to those clauses by which it is probeing proposed, as Mr Douglas states posed to exempt the transactions of the in his speech, « that the bill shall institutions from stamp duties,-to merely extend to such institutions as render legal the discharge granted by a are desirous to avail themselves of its depositor during his minority, &c.-to benefits," and that even these should enable the managers to pay to the law. be left to their own discretion with ful heirs, without the expence of conregard to internal regulations. This, firmation, the money belonging to dewe should think, must remove every ceased depositors,--and to bring more objection to the measure in the minds within the reach of the industrious of the most scrupulous. In England classes the power of bequeathing their there was a necessity for compulsory en- small savings. actments, owing to the precarious state Mr Douglas mentions some objecof many of the country banks; but in tions that have been stated against the Scotland we fortunately stand in a much measure by the managers of the savmore favourable situation. The credit ings bank of Edinburgh, and as the of our public banks in this division of opinion of persons of such high respecthe island is so undoubted, and the tability, whose zeal for the welfare of advantages and facilities they afford these institutions is so well known, are so considerable, as to give peculiar must be of great weight, their objecencouragement to our banks for sav- tions require to be examined with ings; and where the proper mode of much attention. The principal reainvesting the funds of these institu- son which the gentlemen belonging to tions is so obvious and accessible, any the Edinburgh institution urge for parliamentary interference to restrict their opposition to the bill, is, that it or regulate such investment, would is not called for by existing circumseem, in every point of view, to be stances; no clamant inconvenience highly impolitic. Accordingly, so far from want of legislative interference from proposing to imitate the English having yet occurred. In answer to act in this respect, it is not even in- this, it might be sufficient to shew, tended to give to our Scottish banks that such cases may possibly occur, for savings the option of placing their because, in every point of view, it is deposits in the fund provided for better to prevent an evil than to cure those of the sister kingdom. The bill, it; but those who are at all acquaintindeed, avoids altogether any allusioned with the detail of the business of to the mode of securing the money banks for savings, as transacted in deposited in these institutions, thus country parishes, cannot fail to be leaving them to avail themselves of struck with the existence of somesuch means as circumstances may ren- thing more than a possible defect in der most advisable. One great object the common law, as applicable to such of it is to give a power to the mana- institutions. Should any of our parish gers to sue and be sued, that they may banks fall into fraudulent hands, the thus be brought more directly under the danger arising from their present unprotection of the law, and that the legal protected situation would be far from disadvantages which attach to the pe- imaginary ;—and a single instance of cuniary transactions of self-constituted embarrassment arising from this cause, bodies may be removed. We do not might be productive of a serious obknow that any material inconvenience stacle to the future success of the syshas yet been felt from the want of the tem. But it must further be observproposed act; but it seems desirable ed, that inconveniences of immense to guard, as far as possible, against magnitude not only may, but must future contingencies; because any loss take place in the future operations of or heavy expense arising from this these banks, unless protection be imcaust, might be detrimental to the mediately procured for them. In case progress of a system which promises of the death of an intestate depositor,
difficulties will certainly occur, with importance in the eyes of many which regard to succession, which the man- it does not at present possess. There agers of savings banks are at present is something in the impress of nationtotally unable to solve, and which al sanction which has a powerful and cannot fail to be productive of much salutary influence on any plan of pubembarrassment and expense to the lic utility. The rich will be stimua parties. A simple, and, in our o- lated to more vigorous exertions in the pinion, an effectual remedy is con- cause of humanity, and the poor will templated for this evil. It is pro- / feel more confidence in their schemes posed, that the managers shall be con- of economy, when they know that stituted the sole judges of the evi- what was at first only the suggesdence of propinquity, having it in their tion of private benevolence has, afpower to apply to the sheriff for ad- ter undergoing the ordeal of pubvice; and in order to put them in a lic investigation, acquired the supsituation of judging, with regard to the port of the wisest and highest in the legal right of heirs, with which they nation, and been enrolled among the may be presumed to be unacquainted, laws of the land. This is strongly ilit is intended that a schedule shall be lustrated in the case of friendly socidrawn up, exhibiting the law by eties. It is well known that Mr Rose's which the descent of personal proper- act in favour of these excellent instity is regulated. This is a provision tutions, so far from exciting jealousy of such manifest advantage, that were
and alarm, was hailed in this country no other object to be attained by an as a most valuable measure, and has act of Parliament, it would in our tended, in an extraordinary degree, to mind be sufficient to justify legislative advance the popularity and success of interference. It would be easy to en- the scheme. large on this subject, but prudential In reference to the objections above considerations induce us to forbear. stated, great stress has been laid on
The only other objection which ap- the maxim, that all unnecessary lepears to be brought forward by the gislative interference is in itself an gentlemen connected with the Ed- evil. As a general political aphorism, inburgh savings bank is, that the we are inclined to give this observaintroduction of the bill into Parlia- tion much weight; and certainly we ment would excite, in the minds of should be among the last to sanction the poorer classes, a groundless jeal- any wanton infringement on the law ousy and alarm. We have reason to of the land. But even if it were true, believe that this fear is totally un- as it certainly is not, that legislative founded. From what we have been interference is in the present inable to learn, after the most diligent stance unnecessary, of all supposcable inquiry, we are convinced that the cases we conceive there is scarcely one bill, so far from being an object of to which that principle would not jealousy and alarm, is anxiously wish- more forcibly apply than to the case ed for by the industrious classes, and now before us. Let us remember for will be received as a most desirable whose benefit it is intended to legis« boon. We have seen letters on the late. It is the benefit of the poor, subject from all parts of Scotland, and of those classes which form so large they uniformly speak the same lan- and so important a part of the comguage. How, indeed, should it be munity, but which have so seldom otherwise ? The bill does not origin- had occasion to witness the paternal ate with government but with the care of Parliament in legislating for people themselves. It admits of no their exclusive advantage. It is alundue interference with their private leged, that they are apt to be alarmed rights, but simply removes some legal for the interference of the legislature. embarrassments, and extends to them If this be true with regard to the ora degree of protection and encourage- dinary measures of government, of ment, which could not otherwise be which they are the object, such alarm obtained ; and indeed there can be no is not without apparent reason; for doubt that, independent entirely of what are these measures in their more the intrinsic advantages of the meas- obvious aspect and tendency? They ure, the very act of legislative inter- are such as, whilst they are doubtless, ference would attract more general at necessary for the well-being of society, tention to the subject, and give it an must appear to the poor and illiterate,
who are not capable of taking very concerning the supposed antiquity of enlarged political views, vexatious, op- the poems, proceeded to the more impressive, and grinding. The parlia- mediate subject of the present lecture mentary acts whose operation reaches —Burns. He described the genius of the poor, generally relate to the ex- Burns as connected with his body as tension of taxes, or to the rendering well as his mind. He had a real heart more strict and obligatory the laws of flesh and blood beating in his borelative to game, or to the militia. som-you might almost hear it throb. These may all be highly salutary in Burns did not tinkle syren sounds in themselves, but in the eyes of the your ear, or pile up centos of poetic poor they are directly the reverse. diction ; instead of the artificial flowers Now it does strike us very forcibly as of poetry, he plucked the mountainan object of good policy, to take every daisy under his feet; and a fieidfavourable opportunity of counteract- mouse, hurrying from its ruined dwelling this unfavourable impression, by ing, could inspire him with the sentilegislative enactments of an opposite ments of terror or pity. He held the tendency. There have hitherto, un- plough and the pen with the same happily, been very few such enact- manly grasp : he did not cut out poments. Except the poor laws, and etry as we cut out watch-papers, more recently the friendly society act, with finical dexterity, nor from the we are not at present aware of any same materials. However unlike Burns parliamentary boon to the lower or- may be to Shakspeare in the range of ders which can be ranked under the his genius, there is something of the paternal character we contend for. We same magnanimity, directness, and all know with what gratitude the lat- unaffected character, in him. He had ter of these acts has been received, and little of Shakspeare's imagination or there is every reason to believe, that inventive power; but within the narthe bill in question, which is entirely row circle of personal feeling or doof a similar nature, will not be regarde mestic incidents, the pulse of his poed with greater indifference. In fact, . etry flows as healthily and vigorously. a measure of the same kind has been Burns had an eye to see, and a heart already accepted in the two sister to feel ;
His pictures of kingdoms with the most unequivocal good fellowship, of social glee, of proofs of approbation and joy. Assur- quaint humour, come up to nature ; edly, therefore, that man would dis. --they cannot go beyond it. The sly play any thing but political wisdom jest collected in his laughing eye at who should oppose to these advantages the sight of the grotesque and ludia maxim which, however important it erous in manners: the large tear rollmay be as a general principle, does not ed down his manly check at the sight apply to the present question. Why of another's distress. deny to Scotland a gift which has been Here Mr Hazlitt, after alluding to so liberally bestowed on other parts of the moral character of Burns, and obthe empire ?
serving that his virtues belonged to his genius, but his vices to his situation, which did not correspond with
his genius,-took occasion to speak, at XOTICE OF MR Hazlitt's LECTURES considerable length, of Mr Words
ON ENGLISH POETRY, NOW IN THE worth's Letter to Mr Gray. On acCOURSE OF DELIVERY AT TJIE SUR- count of the nature and spirit of these KEY INSTITUTION, LONDON.
remarks, it does not suit either our
purpose or our inclination to repeat No III.
them: we pass on to those which fol
lowed, on the different characteristics Lecture Seventh.-On Burns and the of the poetry of Burns and WordsOld Ballads.
worth. Mr H. said, there was no
one link of sympathy between them. DIE Hazlitt commenced this lecs Wordsworth's is the poetry of mere ture by entering into some explana- sentiment and pensive contemplation : tions respecting the opinion he had that of Burns is a highly sublimated given of Chatterton in the last lecture; essence of animal existence. With and, after referring at some length tó Burns, “ self-love and social are the the controversy that had taken place same.” Wordsworth is himself alone,
- recluse philosopher, or a reluctant Lecture Eighth. On the Living Puets. spectator of the scenes of many-coloured life, moralizing on them, not Mr Hazlitt commenced this lecture describing or entering into them. with some remarks on the nature of Burns has exerted all the vigour of true fame, which he described as not his mind--all the general spirit of his popularity—the shout of the multinature, in exalting the pleasures of tude-the idle buzz of fashion—the wine, love, and good fellowship. But flattery of favour or of friendship, in Wordsworth there is a total dis- but the spirit of a man surviving himunion of the facult of the mind from self in the minds and thoughts of other those of the body. From the Lyrical men. Fame is not the recompence of Ballads it does not appear that men the living, but of the dead. The temeat or drink, marry, or are given in ple of fame stands upon the grave: marriage. If we lived by every senti- the flame that burns upon its altars is ment that proceeds out of our mouths, kindled from the ashes of those to and not by bread alone, or if the spe- whom the incense is offered. He who cies were continued like trees, Words- has ears truly touched to the mu. worth's poetry would be just as good sic of fame, is in a manner deaf to as ever.
the voice of popularity.-The love of Mr Hazlitt now proceeded to re- fame differs from vanity in this, that mark on some of Burn's poems. He the one is immediate and personal, the pointed out the “ Twa Dogs” as a other ideal and abstracted. The lover very spirited piece of description, and of true fame does not delight in that as giving a very vivid idea of the man- gross homage which is paid to himners both of high and low life. He self, but in that pure homage which is described the Brigs of Ayr, the Ad- paid to the eternal forms of truth and dress to a Haggis, Scotch Drink, and beauty, as they are reflected in his many others, as being full of the best mind. He waits patiently and calmly kind of characteristic and comic paint. for the award of posterity, without ening; but Tarn o' Shanter as the mas- deavouring to forestall his immortaliter-piece in this way. In Tam o ty, or mortgage it for a newspaper Shanter, and in the Cottar's Saturday puff. The love of fame should be, in Night, Burns has given the two ex- reality, only another name for the love tremes of licentious eccentricity and of excellence.
Those who are the convivial indulgence, and of patriarchal most entitled to fame, are always the simplicity and gravity. The latter of most content to wait for it; for they these poems is a noble and pathetic pic- know that, if they have deserved it, ture of human manners, mingled with it will not be withheld from them. a fine religious awe: it comes over the It is the award of successive generamind like a slow and solemn strain of tions that they value and desire ; for music. But of all Burns's produc- the brightest living reputation cannot tions, Mr Hazlitt described his pathe- be equally imposing to the imaginatic and serious love-songs as leaving tion with that which is covered and the deepest and most lasting imprese rendered venerable by the hoar of insion on the memory. He instanced, numerable ages. After further rein particular, the lines entitled Jessie, marks to this effect, and a few words and those to Mary Morrison ; and on the female writers of the day, Mr concluded the lecture by a few re- Hazlitt proceeded to speak of the livmarks on the old Scottish and Eng- ing poets. lle began with Mr Rogers, lish ballads, which he described as whom he described as a very lady-like possessing a still more original cast of poetas an elegant but feeble writer, thought, and more romantic imagery who wraps up obvious thoughts in a a closer intimacy with nature-a cover of fine words-who is full of firmer reliance on that as the only enigmas with no meaning to them. stock of wealth to which the mind has His poetry is a more minute and inofto resort—a more infantine simplicity fensive species of the Della Cruscan. of manners—a greater strength of af- There is nothing like truth of nature, fection-hopes longer cherished, and or simplicity of expression. You canlonger deferred-sighs that the heart not see the thought for the ambiguity dare not leave—and “ thoughts that of the expression—the figure for the do often lie too deep for tears. finery-the picture for the varnish.
As an example of this, Mr H. referred as indefatigable, and as humane a spirit. to the description of a friend's ice- His fancy is ever on the wing; it flute house, in which Mr Rogers has carried ters in the gale, glitters in the sun. the principle of elegant evasion and Every thing lives, moves, and sparkles delicate insinuation of his meaning so in his poetry ; and over all love waves far, that the Monthly Reviewers mis- his purple wings. His thoughts are took his friend's ice-house for a dog- as many, as restless, and as bright, as kennel, and the monster which was the insects that people the sun's beain. emphatically said to be chained up in The fault of Moore is an exuberance it for a large mastiff dog.
of involuntary power. His levity beCampbell's Pleasures of Hope, the comes oppressive. He exhausts attenlecturer described as of the same class tion by being inexhaustible. His vaa with the poetry of the foregoing au- riety cloys ; his rapidity dazzles and thor. There is a painful attention distracts the sight. The graceful ease paid to the expression, in proportion with which he lends himself to all the as there is little to express, and the different parts of his subject, prevents decomposition of prose is mistaken for him from connecting them together as the composition of poetry. The sense a whole. He wants intensity, strength, and keeping in the ideas is sacrificed and grandeur. His mind' does not to a jingle of words and an epigram- brood over the great and permanent, matic form of expression. The verses but glances over the surfaces of things. on the battle of Hohenlinden, Mr H. His gay laughing style, which relates described as possessing considerable to the immediate pleasures of love and spirit and animation ; but he spoke of wine, is better than his sentimental the Gertrude of Wyoming as exhibits and romantic view ; for this pathos ing little power, or power suppressed sometimes melts into a mawkish senby extreme fastidiousness. The au- sibility, or crystallizes into all the pretthor seems so afraid of doing wrong, tinesses of allegorical language, or that he does little or nothing. Lest hardness of external imagery. He has he should wander from the right path, wit at will, and of the best quality. he stands still. He is like a man His satirical and burlesque poetry is whose heart fails him just as he is his best. Mr Moore ought not to have going up in a balloon, and who breaks written Lalla Rookh, even for three his neck by flinging himself out when thousand guineas, said Mr Hazlitt. it is too late. He mangles and maims His fame was worth more than that. his ideas before they are full-formed, He should have minded the advice of in order to fit them to the Procrustes' Fadladeen. It is not, however, a failbed of criticism ; or strangles his in- ure, so much as an evasion of public tellectual offspring in the birth, lest opinion, and a consequent disappointa they should come to an untimely end ment. in the Edinburgh Review. No writ- If Moore seems to have been too er, said Mr Hazlitt, who thinks ha- happy, continued Mr Hazlitt, LORD bitually of the critics, either to fear Byron, from the tone of his writings, or contemn them, can ever write well. seems to have been too unhappy to be a It is the business of Reviewers to truly great poet. He shuts himself up watch poets, not poets to watch re. too much in the impenetrable gloom viewers. Mr H. concluded his re- of his own thoughts. The Giaour, the marks on Campbell by censuring the Corsair, Childe Harolde, &c. are all plot of Gertrude of Wyoming, on ac- the same person, and they are appaa count of the mechanical nature of its rently all himself. This everlasting structure, and from the most striking repetition of one subject, this accumuincidents all occurring in the shape of lation of horror upon horror, steels the antitheses. They happen just in the mind against the sense of pain as much pick of time, but without any known as the unceasing sweetness and luxucause, except the convenience of the rious monotony of Moore's poetry author.
makes it indifferent to pleasure. There Moore was described as a poet of is nothing less poetical than the unquite a different stamp,--as heedless, bending selfishness which the poetry gay, and prodigal of his poetical wealth, of Lord Byron displays. There is no as the other is careful, reserved, and thing more repulsive than this ideal parsimonious. Mr Moore's muse was absorption of all the good and ill of life compared to Ariel - as light, as tricksy, in the ruling passion and moody abe VOL. IIL